Bengali film

In A First, Bengali Film Hits The Screen In Chandigarh

CHANDIGARH: In a first, a Bengali film has seen the light of day in Chandigarh. Directed by Kamaleshwar Mukherjee, the film starring current heartthrob of Bengali film industry Dev enjoyed a special three-day (December 23-25) run at a multiplex in UT. This is the first time a Bengali film has commercially released at a theatre in Punjab.

Undoubtedly, the Bengali community is on cloud nine. Amrita Ganguly, who is living in UT for the last 40 years, watched the film with her friends and family on Christmas eve. The film had English subtitles for the non-Bengali speaking audience. Though Ganguly rued that most of the Bengalis weren’t aware of the release here, she is happy that a Bengali film has finally released in Chandigarh.

“All these years, if we wanted to watch a new Bengali release we had to travel to Delhi. Most of the times, we played an old Bengali film on a projector here. I am happy Bengali films have started playing here,” said Ganguly.

Meanwhile, spokesperson of the cinema chain, which is running the film, said on Sunday, there was nearly 20-25% occupancy. “For a market which hasn’t had a Bengali release ever, the first-time figure is not so disappointing,” he said.

The spokesperson also said they wanted the movie goers here to get a taste of different regional cinema. Besides Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam films have been playing at the multiplexes in Chandigarh for some time now. “We know the audience for regional cinema is limited but the time is ripe to experiment with cinema of other languages,” he said.

Bengali actor Dev, who plays the titular role in the film shot in Amazon rainforest, told TOI, “Bengali films have released in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi and Gurgaon and other parts of the country. We wanted to reach out to the Bengali population in Chandigarh too. I am waiting to hear their response after watching the film.”

A spokesperson of the production house said they were receiving a lot of request from the movie lovers of Chandigarh on their official social media page to screen the film here. “In our survey, we found out Chandigarh has a sizeable Bengali population,” he said.

Harish Mehla of Chandigarh Creative Cinema Circle said Indian audience should be exposed to more regional content. “We watch Marathi, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu and all kinds of regional films in our club. If the content is good and the film has English subtitle, it’s worth watching. This is a welcome change that films from other region are gaining importance here,” said Mehla. Though the production house is not too pleased with the box office figures from the region of Punjab, he said they will release Bengali films in UT in the future, too, if the audience responds to the content.

The film, which is a sequel to 2013 Bengali release Chander Pahar, will be dubbed in Hindi. The spokesperson of the cinema chain said they have plans to screen the Hindi dubbed version in January. “In fact, if more regional films are dubbed in Hindi, then it will increase the size of the audience,” said the spokesperson of the cinema chain in Chandigarh.

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